The Dos And Don'ts Of Restoring Old Wooden Furniture

Posted on: 25 June 2015

You've probably heard the saying, "one man's trash is another man's treasure," and this often rings true of old furniture. If you have a knack for DIY work and some free time on your hands, you can find cheap, old wooden furniture at your local antique store or even for free on the side of the road. And with the right knowledge, you can restore that old wooden furniture and either sell it for a profit or adorn your own home with it.

DO Begin With a Thorough Cleaning

Before you bust out the sandpaper or paint, you'll want to make sure that the furniture is as thoroughly cleaned as possible. You might be surprised at just what a difference a cleaning can do to the original finish of the wood; in fact, you might even find that, after a good cleaning, there's no longer a need to sand and re-stain or re-paint the piece. For wood pieces with finer detail, consider using a toothbrush and some quality oil soap wood cleaner. If you use steel wool to remove layers of debris, be sure to use the finest grade possible to avoid further damage.

DO Fill Scratches With Wood Putty

Older pieces of wooden furniture are bound to have some scratches and gouges on them as part of their wear and tear. Fortunately, you can easily fill wood scratches and other damage with some quality wood putty, which you can find at your local hardware or home improvement store. If you plan on staining your wood furniture, however, just make sure that you use a wood putty that will absorb the stain in the same way that wood does. Otherwise, the damage will remain apparent after you stain and refinish the piece.

DON'T Overlook an Appraisal

Finally, understand that not all wooden furniture will make you a profit by refinishing. That wooden piece you stumbled across at a yard sale might look like it's not worth much, but it could have some historical significance that its seller wasn't aware of. To be safe, then, you might want to consider having an appraisal done of an older furniture piece if you even suspect that it has any significant value. After all, the last thing you would want is to go through the trouble of refinishing a piece, only to find that it would have been worth more if you had left it as-is. For more information on furniture, check out companies like Ritchie's Furniture & Appliance.